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The Moment Before Drowning

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In 1959, a French Resistance hero investigates a murder in a small Breton town, while awaiting his own trial.

Forthcoming: 7/3/18

$25.95 $19.46 Not Currently Available – Check Back Soon!

What people are saying…

“After spending two years in Algeria with the French military, Jacques le Garrec, a Resistance hero and former detective, returns home in disgrace to a desolate snow-laden seacoast village in Brittany to await his own trial for a horrific incident that occurred during his time in Algeria. . . What seems a deceptive title becomes a metaphor for le Garrec’s journey in The Moment Before Drowning—a gripping, atmospheric, submersive novel that is deeply layered and delicately nuanced. I couldn’t put this book down.”
—Cara Black, author of Murder in Saint-Germain

“This book haunted me—the protagonist’s moral conflict is so poignant, the writing is luminescent, and the postwar French and Algerian landscapes are immaculately drawn. Take a bit of Albert Camus, mix in some Nobel Prize–winning Patrick Modiano, add a dollop of French noir, and voilà, you have James Brydon’s The Moment Before Drowning.
Denise Hamilton, author of Damage Control


Description

December 1959: a furious anticolonial war rages in Algeria. Captain Jacques le Garrec, a former detective and French Resistance hero, returns to France in disgrace, traumatized after two years of working in the army intelligence services, and accused of a brutal crime.

As le Garrec awaits trial in the tiny Breton town where he grew up, he is asked to look into a disturbing and unsolved murder committed the previous winter. A local teenage girl was killed and her bizarrely mutilated body was left on display on the heathland in a way that no one could understand.

Le Garrec’s investigations draw him into the dark past of the town, still haunted by memories of the German Occupation. As he tries to reconstruct the events of the girl’s murder, the violence and guilt intertwine with his own recollections of Algeria and threaten to submerge him.


Book Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Published: 7/3/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756252
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756528

Author

JAMES BRYDON grew up in North Shropshire, England, and studied English at Oxford. For over a decade, he has worked as a cryptic crossword setter. As Picaroon, he sets two puzzles a month in the Guardian, and he compiles for the Spectator, the Times of London, and the fiendish Listener puzzle, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as the films of Akira Kurosawa and the six-fold symmetry of snowflakes. He is fluent in French and Serbian, is currently polishing his German, and can hold a conversation in passable Chinese. He lives in St. Albans, England, with his wife and daughter. The Moment Before Drowning is his debut novel.

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